a portfolio of videogame writings
Before I had played either Mario or Sonic I came across Zool, the ninja from the Nth dimension. This little gremlin, along with James Pond, was my introduction into 2D side scrolling platformers, and what a surreal introduction it was. Each world was warped around a singular theme: The opening sweet land filled with vicious sliding sentient Jellies, the ground seemingly made out of cake and candy canes, and the boss a bee with gigantic Liquorice ears. Or the tool world with floating chainsaws slicing through the air and gigantic drill tips thrusting forth from the walls.
It was also a challenging introduction. Progression past the second musical themed world was notoriously difficult with tricky environmental challenges and tough enemy patterns to navigate.
Besides a wild imagination and obstinate difficulty Zool was also notable for being one of the first videogames to feature heavily pervasive in game advertising; the Chupa Chups logo was blatantly plastered throughout the opening world and its products visible in the backgrounds. I blame Zool for both my cavities and my 2D side-scrolling addiction and as one of my formative video-gaming experiences, it certainly was an education.